Thursday, October 15, 2009

Roses Still Going Strong...

In spite of the constantly changing weather in recent weeks, including that bucket-brigade style deluge earlier this week, my roses seem happier than ever, and are starting to bloom all over again. Many of them are full of new buds, and I need to get out and groom them to make way for new blooms. Here are three of them showing off:

New Day

Falling In Love

Chris Evert

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Goodbye, Emma...

Emma Allebes, one of my favorite people, crossed over last week. Emma was a woman of extraordinary talent and creativity in the fabric art world. She made some of the most wonderful quilts and wearable art I've ever seen - colorful, imaginative, flamboyant, sometimes silly, always excellently crafted, and, most definitely, never boring! I met her many years ago when I was just a novice at art quilting, and used to attend quarterly meetings of the NorCal SAQA group. I've been unable to attend the meetings for quite a while, and have missed the group very much - the inspiration I got from seeing and talking with those exceptionally creative women every few months kept me going, even though their creativity and talent often awed me into an intimidated speechlessness (yes, they did... can you imagine???) I especially missed Emma - she imparted the most delicious sense of humor and style, and was such a delight to talk to, and to listen to. She was a great story-teller, an excellent teacher and always inspired me with her sense of flair and fearlessness in creativity and her joie de vivre. I attended her memorial service yesterday afternoon, and was moved by the wonderful tributes and stories I heard about her life. It was especially delightful to see all of the gorgeous flower tributes festooned with black and white checkered ribbon - one of Emma's imprimaturs, and present in so much of her work. Years ago, she and her husband, Ted, started Tayo's fabric store in Fair Oaks. It was too far away from me for a casual run to a quilt shop, but I usually made a point of stopping there after SAQA meetings, and loved the selection of fabrics that so closely mirrored my own tastes.

I'm so very grateful I had the opportunity to know Emma. Shalom, and נוחי על משכבך בשלום, My Friend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

25 against 1 - and guess who's ahead?

We have a mouse living in our kitchen and one would think, with twenty three cats and 2 humans, the mouse wouldn't last long... but it's been three days and Ms/Mr. Mouse is still running the show. The cats have practically destroyed the kitchen - knocking stuff off the counters, breaking dishes, burrowing under small appliances, rummaging in cupboards, ripping up plastic bags. Still the mouse endures. The two humans have set up the Tin Cat and loaded it with a big, yummy dollop of peanut butter and some cat kibble, but so far it hasn't had any affect on the mouse, although the cats sure are interested in it. All things considered, I think I prefer the mouse over the ants we hosted last month... at least there's only one mouse, and the cats just don't seem as interested in catching ants.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mmmmm... Something new to try

I really like black-eyed peas, and always look forward to New Year's Day when I prepare a giant pot of Hoppin' John, with lots of onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and a fistful of bacon ends - enough to have for a half dozen dinners during the first couple of weeks of January, when the cold weather makes them taste sooooo good! Occasionally, during the summertime, I'll whip up a batch of black-eye salad, when the rest of the family gets tired of potato salad (me?... I NEVER get tired of potato salad...!) However, I've never prepared (or even seen) FRESH black-eyed peas before last Wednesday when a pound of them arrived in my veggie box from RiverDog Farm. I spent a very cool, and meditative, half hour this afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, shelling the peas, and enjoyed a tactile experience I hadn't had since childhood, when I often sat with my grandmother on her enormous front porch and shelled regular old peas for her famous pea soup, swimming with ham hocks, carrots and pearl onions. (Now, that's one recipe I sure wish I had these days, though I could probably concoct it if I gave it some thought.) I've just finished lining up my ingredients - fresh tomatoes from the garden, onions, peppers, and a ton of garlic from RiverDog, and a mess of bacon ends. I just fired up a pot of brown rice, and I'll start cooking the beans in an hour or so, after I've had a couple of Jack Daniels to put me in the mood. While the beans are cooking, I'm going to bake some cornbread in my cast-iron skillet, and whip up some Moroccan carrots and coleslaw. For dessert, I'll throw together a Cake Ina Cup, and I'll be ready for anything... but, most probably, CSI and bed.